Politics

Politics
4:21 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Congress Bets On Post-Election Edge, Delaying Action

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:36 am

Congress roared into town last week after a five-week break. Lawmakers will be heading back home just as quickly this week. They're expected to complete exactly one big item before pulling the plug on this briefest of sessions: a stopgap spending measure that keeps the government from shutting down during the next six months.

Members of both parties prefer tackling the mountain of unfinished business they leave behind only after the November election.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Obama Polishes His 'Regular Guy' Image With Beer

President Obama toasts others at the Dubliner Restaurant and Pub in Washington, D.C., on March 17.
Joshua Roberts Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 3:48 pm

There's an old shorthand for likeability in politics: "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?"

Polls show President Obama has been winning that likeability contest. And he's been raising a lot of frosty mugs on the campaign trail, hoping to press his advantage over the teetotaling Mitt Romney.

The strategy could come to a head in the swing state of Colorado.

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NPR Story
5:34 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Foreign Policy Pulls Political Focus

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 8:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joined now by Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor in our studios. Ron, thanks very much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

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Middle East
4:05 am
Sat September 15, 2012

U.S., Israel Divided Over 'Red Line' For Iran

President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in March. Netanyahu and the Obama administration clashed openly this week over the issue of Iran's nuclear program.
Amos Ben Gershom GPO via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:27 am

The Obama administration often talks about its strong bonds with Israel, but relations between the two leaders don't look that way at all.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration openly clashed over Iran this week. The White House also announced that President Obama would not have time to meet Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister is in the U.S. later this month.

The two men did have a lengthy phone conversation, but some say what they really need is a marriage counselor.

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Middle East
4:01 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Reporter Hotline: What Awaits Abroad After Election

Afghan soldiers (right) patrol with U.S. troops in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan in May. The two armies have been working together for years, but Afghan attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have been rising recently.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:14 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about foreign policy and U.S. involvement in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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Politics
4:01 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Paul Ryan A Star Attraction For Values Voters

Paul Ryan addresses the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 8:55 am

In this election, Christian conservatives seem to be more against President Obama than they are for Mitt Romney. But they do like GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who used a speech Friday to vouch for Romney.

At the annual gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, D.C., there was also talk of this week's violence in the Middle East.

The Values Voter Summit got under way first thing Friday morning, with a speech from Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council organizes this event.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

White House Details 2013 Cuts If Congress Doesn't Avert Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:50 pm

The White House Friday released a report detailing, in part, what life would look like on the other side of the fiscal cliff, which could occur at the end of the year.

Under orders from Congress, the administration detailed exactly how it would administer painful cuts to both defense and domestic programs that were ordered under last year's budget deal.

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Presidential Race
2:51 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Paul Ryan Headlines Values Voter Summit

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan addressed the annual Values Voter Summit on Friday. Audie Cornish talks with Don Gonyea.

Presidential Race
2:44 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Romney's Critiques Of Obama Like Reagan's Of Carter

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says President Obama's foreign policies have sent "confusing messages" to the world. The critique argues that the Obama foreign policy is not muscular enough. It's a message that echoes the presidential campaign of 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged Jimmy Carter.

Presidential Race
2:29 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Romney Adviser: U.S. Should Add Terms To Egypt Aid

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Richard Williamson, Mitt Romney's senior foreign policy adviser. They discuss Romney's foreign policy positions, Libya and other news.

It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

What's Behind That White House Door? Just Ask Ann Romney

Ann Romney in New York on Friday tapes an interview with Fox's Neil Cavuto. She also spoke with ABC's Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Along with political agendas and visions for the future, every once in a while along the campaign trail there are potential TMI moments.

Arguably, one occurred Friday when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were taping ABC's Live! With Kelly and Michael in New York.

The interview is scheduled to air Tuesday. But notes from a pool reporter traveling with Romney show what happens when an invited White House guest — in this case Ann Romney — decides to do some poking around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Romney Struggles To Find Foreign Policy Footing

Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally Thursday in Fairfax, Va.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:32 pm

Mitt Romney has sought to distinguish his views on foreign policy and the world from positions held by President Obama. So far, it hasn't gained him much traction.

The Republican presidential nominee has insisted that Obama has not done enough to promote America's values and interests, instead "apologizing" and appeasing the nation's enemies.

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It's All Politics
12:32 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Ryan Slams Obama On Social Issues And Foreign Policy

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speaks Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:31 pm

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan used an appearance at an annual gathering of his party's social conservatives Friday to pointedly criticize President Obama's foreign policy record and to testify to his own Catholic faith and opposition to abortion.

"We're all in this together," said Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin, echoing a theme of Obama's convention speech. "It has a nice ring."

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Science
12:15 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Detecting the 'Artful Dodge'

During the Republican debates, Mitt Romney told a moderator "You get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want." Social psychologist Todd Rogers talks about how likely voters are to notice a subtle dodge. James Fowler joins to discuss whether social media can send more people to the polls.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:54 am
Fri September 14, 2012

It's All Politics, Sept. 13, 2012

Khalil AFP/Getty Images

In an election that's supposed to be about the economy, tragic deaths overseas push foreign policy onto the political stage in the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. While Romney seems to have lost the initial battle, questions remain about the administration's Middle East goals.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest "It's All Politics" roundup.

It's All Politics
6:37 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Where Political Ads Go To Be Mocked

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:27 am

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Politics
4:34 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Lawmakers Play Blame Game On Defense Cuts

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

At the rate we're going, there may be plenty of news before those debates. Today, the White House is expected to release a list of budget cuts totaling about $100 billion. At the end of last year's debt ceiling battle, Congress voted to either agree on deficit reductions or these big automatic across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would go into affect. They didn't agree, so here we are.

As NPR's David Welna reports, many Republicans who voted for sequestration now oppose it.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Romney Reframes Foreign Policy Pitch After Flap Over Libya Remarks

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks Thursday in Fairfax, Va.
Molly Riley UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.

A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Two Decisions May Make Voting Easier In Florida

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Two decisions this week could make voting easier in the crucial swing state of Florida. One involves early voting, the other deals with the state's controversial effort to purge non-citizens from its voter registration rolls.

NPR's Pam Fessler has updates on both.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Florida voting laws have been the subject of a lot of litigation this year and this is unlikely to be the end. But the warring parties have managed to find some common ground.

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Presidential Race
2:32 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Obama Uses Colorado Stop To Address Foreign Policy

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are both campaigning today in pivotal battleground states. Mr. Obama is in Colorado. Romney's in Virginia. The economy remains a central focus for the two men, but that's been overshadowed in the last 48 hours by events in the Middle East.

We'll hear from the Romney campaign in a moment. First, NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us from Golden, Colorado. Hi there, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Audie.

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Presidential Race
2:32 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Romney Makes Appeal To Women Voters In Virginia

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Washington, D.C., is one of the most heavily Democratic places in the country. But some of its suburbs are in the swing state that both parties are fighting hard for. Mitt Romney campaigned in Northern Virginia today and NPR's Ari Shapiro reports they can't say its rally gave a clear indication of whom he's trying to win over in this community.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Before Mitt Romney took the stage, people crowded the bleachers behind the podium. All but three of them were women.

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Can A Republican Win A Senate Seat In Blue Hawaii?

Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle gives a victory speech in Honolulu after winning the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on Aug. 11.
Marco Garcia AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:19 pm

Republican hopes of capturing the Senate in November rest on a handful of tossup races in states like Montana, Missouri and Virginia.

Surprisingly, some analysts also are putting Hawaii in the tossup column.

Hawaii is the bluest of blue states; it hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate since 1970. But with the retirement of 22-year incumbent Daniel Akaka, Republicans believe they have a chance.

And regardless of who wins, the state will have its first female senator come January.

In Hawaii, the language of politics is a little different.

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Economy
12:02 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Smiley, West: Poverty Is A Political Issue

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 12:22 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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The Salt
7:38 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Freedom Soda: New York's Ban On Big Sodas Hits Us Where We're Human

Under New York Mayor Bloomberg's proposed big soda ban, soda sizes at the movies and elsewhere would have to shrink, and so would the fun, some people say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:46 pm

UPDATE: 11:37 a.m. As expected, the New York Board of Health passed a rule banning sugary drinks like soda in sizes 16 oz. or larger at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries in an effort to combat obesity today. The ban is expected to take effect in March, but according to the Wall Street Journal, opponents are already considering a legal challenge to prevent that. It passed 8-0.

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It's All Politics
1:36 am
Thu September 13, 2012

In The Ohio River Valley, Voters Aren't Sure Either Candidate Can Help

Towns near the Ohio River, including Steubenville, seen here in 2009, are home to many undecided voters. One of them, Brian Snider, says, "This is pretty much a ghost town."
Rick Gershon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 8:17 pm

Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.

But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Obama's Post-Charlotte Bounce May Owe More To TV Ads Than Convention

President Obama gives his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:24 am

It's become conventional wisdom that President Obama's new lead in the polls is a bounce, coming out of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.

But an analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project suggests that the bounce might be due to TV ads as much as grand speeches. The Obama campaign and its allies laid out $21.1 million for TV during the two weeks of the party conventions. Over that same stretch, Republican Mitt Romney and his backers spent significantly less, $12.9 million.

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It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Rove's Crossroads GPS Gets Explicit In Anti-Obama Air War

Karl Rove co-founded the Republican superPAC Crossroads GPS.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 9:21 am

For months, the tax-exempt Crossroads GPS has argued that its anti-Obama ads were merely issue ads and not political ads. No more. Today the group went up with ads explicitly telling viewers to vote against President Obama.

Co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, the group began running a 30-second spot Wednesday morning in Nevada that blames a weak economy and poor housing market on Obama and ends with the wording: "This election ... don't blow another vote on Obama."

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Presidential Race
3:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Romney Criticizes Obama's Response To Libya Attack

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

New Politics Emerge In Aurora, Colo., After Shooting

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado has become a key issue in at least two tight congressional races in that battleground state. Since the attacks, two Democratic candidates - running in districts in and around Aurora - have called for stricter gun laws. But Republicans have accused them of trying to politicize the tragedy.

From member station KUNC, Kirk Siegler reports.

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Digital Life
3:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Facebook Could Be Powerful Tool In Targeting Voters

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 3:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Every election season Republicans and Democrats tried to rally their base and to go after undecided voters. They're increasingly using the Internet in Get Out The Vote efforts.

NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who reports on social science research, joins me now to talk about how Facebook could become a potent weapon in going after the biggest untapped voting bloc in the nation. Shankar, welcome.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: Who are these mystery voters, this untapped voting bloc that we mentioned?

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